28 Sep 2008

Staverton Airport: latest revelation is that they are 'plain bonkers'

Some will remember that over a year ago Staverton released a secret report to local MPs and some councillors entitled 'Common Misconceptions' (they preferred to call it a 'controlled document'). In this extraordinary document that was leaked to campaigners, the airport denied the science of climate change. See my news release at the time here.

Photos: The Airport report and below The Ecologist magazine who also covered our story.

Now in an extraordinary twist the Cheltenham Friends of the Earth Coordinator Richard Conibere has uncovered that the authors of this 'controlled report' appear to have used a George Monbiot article and then twisted it completely to mean the opposite. Judge for yourself below noticing the sections Richard has highlighted in bold. As one commentator said: "This is just plain bonkers!"

George Monbiot – Channel 4’s Problem with Science. Guardian, 13th March 2007. Passage from article debunking the ‘Great Global Warming Swindle’ (see article here):

The film’s main contention is that the current increase in global temperatures is caused not by rising greenhouse gases, but by changes in the activity of the Sun. It is built around the discovery in 1991 by the Danish atmospheric physicist Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen that recent temperature variations on earth are in “strikingly good agreement” with the length of the cycle of sunspots - the shorter they are, the higher the temperature(2).

Unfortunately, he found nothing of the kind. A paper published in the journal Eos in 2004 reveals that the “agreement” was the result of “incorrect handling of the physical data”. The real data for recent years show the opposite: that temperatures have continued to rise as the length of the sunspot cycle has increased. When this error was exposed, Friis-Christensen and his co-author published a new paper, purporting to produce similar results. But this too turned out to be an artefact of mistakes they had made - in this case in their arithmetic.

GloucestershireAirport– ‘Common Misconceptions’ document. June 2007 (passage asserting that man-made climate change is not real):

It is a well documented fact that the climate or weather has never been stable during the entire history of the earth and it is foolhardy to presume it will become or can be made stable in the future. Claims that it is down to human interaction have already been proven wrong due to the incorrect handling of physical data. When this error was exposed the scientists produced a new paper, purporting to produce similar results. But this too turned out to be an artefact of mistakes they had made in this case, in their arithmetic!


undercontrolled said...

Very interesting, really shows how the airports PR is based on their "incorrect handling" of the evidence right before their very eyes. It would be interesting to see what Monbiot would have to say about his work being used like this this.

It certainly shows just how much the information put out by the airport can be trusted.

Philip Booth said...

I just emailed George Monbiot so we may see what he thinks!

Anonymous said...

Bonkers? More like criminally insane